The human race’s search for happiness is endless and tends to be an elusive one as well. Fortunately for us, the “happiness” experience can actually take different forms and result from a variety of life circumstances and behaviours. Studies can now show us effective ways that we can develop or find these various kinds of happiness in our lives.
The feeling of joy results from losing yourself in the current moment and appreciating what you have. It is fleeting in the sense that it can creep in without your notice and disappear in a flash if you try to analyse it too much. This form of happiness is also relatively accessible as it can be found in lots of things if you have the right perspective and attitude.
The easiest and fastest way to find joy is by engaging in activities you know usually brings you joy. This could be anything from amusement parks to your favourite music or even meditation. It’s also important to engage in some new things to find creative avenues of joy.
This form of happiness of somewhat fleeting as well, though it lasts longer than joy – it dissipates in no time and can turn into ennui. However, it can be a form of motivation. For instance, the excitement about a new job can motivate you to work harder, and the excitement that comes with a new relationship can motivate you to put in more effort into settling disagreements.
Excitement can also help to get you through jitters; Research has shown that telling yourself that you’re excited rather than nervous or anxious can assist in recycling potentially uncomfortable energy into more constructive activity.
Also, excitement prolongs the positive feelings you get from an activity. By focusing on your excited feelings of anticipation, the fun of a family road trip can extend into the days and weeks before it even ends. Excitement is easy to come by, as well, so this is not so difficult to pursue. Try out new hobbies. Keep a To-Do list. Allow yourself get lost in anticipation when you have something huge coming up.
Gratitude is also a significant form of happiness but can dissipate if you don’t actively focus on it. Research has shown that those who feel gratitude on a regular basis tend to be healthier and happier than those who are less familiar with these feelings.
Plus, it’s very easy to cultivate gratitude; you can use a gratitude journal, practice loving-kindness meditation, or even just by letting important people in your life know that you appreciate them, and do it often. Among other things, cultivating this form of happiness has been proven to ward off depression, it may not be so obvious, but feelings of gratitude can be brought to mind again and again.
While competitive pride and smug can be a negative thing, taking pride in your achievements can be a type of gratitude turned inward and are a great form of happiness when practised. You can take pride in your family, your home, your work and yourself, and in anything you put effort, love and care into.
You can practice a healthy sense of pride by including personal achievements in your gratitude journal or keeping a list of accomplishments at the end of each day. This isn’t the same as being full of yourself or bragging – you’re not implying that because of your achievements, you’re better than others, but you’re saying that you appreciate the fact that you’re a better form of yourself.
Optimism has been linked to greater outcome in life, according to research. Optimism has a combination of pride and gratitude and tends to focus on possibilities. Optimists are grateful for the possibilities presented by life, proud of their abilities to utilise these opportunities and have a strong belief in themselves and their ability to see their desired goals completed.
When faced with disappointment, optimists tend to minimise it, pinpoint mitigating factors that resulted in their negative outcomes and identify means of doing better next time. They give themselves credit when they succeed and take it as a sign of good things to come. Optimism is less fleeting as it tends to be an overall way of being.
Contentment means being satisfied with what you’ve got. Those who are contented are less disappointed by the drawbacks of life and feel lucky to have things they already own in their lives.
People struggle to experience this form of happiness in their lives, and it can result from being grateful for what you have as well as the feeling that you have reached a certain height in your personal life or career and you deserve to enjoy the rewards that come with such efforts.
Revelling in your achievements and in everything you have can bring contentment. So a great way to stay contented is by focusing on the things you have.
Some people believe love and happiness are interchangeable, that happiness is a form of love and love is an infinite source of happiness. However you put it, both are essential to have in your life.
True love is thought to be extremely difficult to cultivate, but in reality, you can find love all around you. Pets, friends, family and romantic partners are all excellent sources of love, and you can enrich your life by focusing on all these relationships. This is a kind of happiness that can come in lifetime supply.
Even though stressful relationships can drain us of happiness, supportive and healthy relationships can bring long-lasting happiness. Spending time with loved ones, focusing on relationship skills, and cultivating these relationships in other ways can help you maintain this form of happiness in your life.
have you experienced any of the forms of happiness mentioned above? Tell us how you were able to find them by making use of the comment section below. We would love to hear from you.